(L-R) Ryan Seacrest, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr., of the television show “American Idol” speak during the FOX portion of the 2014 Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 13, 2014 in Pasadena, California
*In Wednesday’s premiere of “American Idol’s” 13th season, the show’s lone new judge appears to be the most Simon Cowell-like in his impatience with contestants who have no business trying to audition for any singing competition.
Harry Connick, Jr. was never treated with kid gloves by his mentors early on, and the 46-year-old singer, conductor, pianist, composer and actor says dismissing contestants who have no chance of advancing is not being mean – it’s being practical.
“It was my teachers like Ellis Marsalis who would say, ‘You should quit, you don’t have talent for this, you should think of another vocation, you’re not good enough.’ Those were mean things to say,” said Connick at the show’s TCA panel Monday.
*Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban were officially announced today as judges for season 13 of “American Idol.” It’s the first time in the show’s history that the panel consists entirely of singers — like NBC’s “The Voice.”
Lopez returns after a two-season run as judge in 2011 and 2012 that was a boon for the show and her career. Connick, a respected jazz singer and musician, proved adept as a mentor in several “Idol” appearances.
Urban’s return to the contest was announced last month by Fox Chairman Kevin Reilly, who said the singer didn’t get a chance to show his personality in his first turn as a judge. Urban appeared overwhelmed last season by the Mariah Carey/Nicki Minaj debacle.
“I think this season of ‘Idol’ is gonna be a blast,” Urban said in a statement Tuesday. “New team, new energy and a whole new field of artists to be discovered and given a chance!”
Fox also announced that original judge Randy Jackson, who exited along with the bickering Carey and Minaj at the end of last season, will be back in a new role as in-house mentor to the contestants. Ryan Seacrest, also part of “Idol” from the start, will again host.
“Surprise, surprise! I am so happy to be back as part of this amazing show that started it all,” said Jackson. “The original talent show is back with a vengeance and ready to discover the best talent in America.”
Record executive Jimmy Iovine had served as mentor in recent seasons. Fox said that Universal Music Group’s Interscope Records, under Iovine’s direction as chairman, will continue to release “Idol” winner and contestant music.
Tryouts are ahead in Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boston; Detroit; Omaha, Neb.; Salt Lake City and San Francisco. “American Idol” returns in January.
*The widow and third wife of Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian’s father Robert Kardashian says that she and the courts are the victims of a manufactured reality TV plotline by the Kardashian clan and she wants a judge to let her state her case.
Ellen Pearson on Thursday (July 11) filed a motion in federal court to be allowed to file counterclaims against the Ryan Seacrest-produced E! series stars’ April copyright complaint against her. A complaint Pearson’s lawyer says was all for the cameras of the supposedly unscripted “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”
“Episode 2 from Season 8 of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, entitled Enough is Enough (“Episode”) first aired on or about June 8, 2013…the filing of this entire lawsuit by the Kardashians was nothing more than part of a carefully orchestrated aspect of the Episode. The entire saga culminating in the filing of the complaint in this action was orchestrated off screen by the Kardashians and then scripted for the Episode,” says the 17-page motion.
Pearson has requested that her motion be heard on August 12, 2013 in downtown LA, reports Deadline.com. She wants to counterclaim Defamation, Public Disclosure of Private Facts, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Civil Harassment and Civil Conspiracy to Defame. Producer Seacrest could also see himself and his production company dragged into the proceedings if the motion to file counterclaims is successful, Pearson’s lawyers indicate in accompanying material to today’s filing.
Robert Kardashian and Ellen Pearson
Represented by Marty Singer and Evan Spiegel, the Kardashian sisters along with their brother Robert Kardashian Jr. and their mother Kris Jenner initially sued Pearson on April 4 for more than $500,000 in damages. They claimed that Pearson, who married the Kardashian patriarch two months before he died of cancer in 2003, was engaged in a ”despicable and unlawful scheme” to sell family photos of the children and parts of their father’s diary to the tabloids. The complaint said that this material belongs to the children as bequeathed by the O.J Simpson attorney in his will. But that was all a ruse says Pearson.
“Robert’s diaries and notes exposed Kris as a manipulative and devious mother and ex-wife who simply used and exploited her children and family. The Kardashians carefully developed the Episode as a ‘spin’ to neutralize the exceptionally negative opinion that Robert had of Kris. The Kardashians’ strategy was to neutralize the unrefuted details in Robert’s diaries and notes by suggesting that they were in fact both Robert’s words—but were fabricated by Ellen,” the motion alleges.
Robert Kardashian and Ellen Pearson
Thursday’s filing also lays out a back and forth between Pearson’s lawyers Arnold Peter and Marcus Lee and the Kardashian’s attorneys over several days earlier this month on the case as discussions of a possible counterclaim escalated.
Accompanying documents to the filing indicate that on July 3 Pearson’s lawyers said they intend to “bring a Third-Party claim against Ryan Seacrest and Ryan Seacrest Productions.”
Seacrest is not mentioned in the filing though a separate suit could be filed if the court grants Pearson’s motion. Pearson’s lawyers are accused of “engaging in outrageous, unprofessional and unethical conduct and gamesmanship,” in a July 3 response from Spiegel.
Singer Aretha Franklin is interviewed via satellite during Fox’s “American Idol 2013″ Finale Results Show at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on May 16, 2013 in Los Angeles
*Aretha Franklin provided an awkward moment during Thursday’s “American Idol” finale when she referred to finalist Candice Glover as “a winner,” before she was officially announced.
“Candice, you’re a winner,” the legend said from a huge screen in LA’s Nokia Theater.
The Queen of Soul immediately followed it up with, “Win or lose – you’re a winner.” However, Ryan Seacrest – after an awkward pause – decided to clear up any confusion by nervously asking her, “You don’t have the results do you?”
“I do,” Franklin answered from a studio in New York, where she was about to perform, “but I won’t tell you.”
A rep for Fox told BuzzFeed that ReRe “did not know the results.”
*Singer Jason Derulo tested the strength of his neck after breaking it a year ago by performing a hands-free headstand in the video for his upcoming single, “The Other Side.”
He tells Ryan Seacrest, “I wanted to go to the extreme… I wanted to do something that showed the strength of where I’ve come from… ‘What can I do to show that I am good, to show that I am on the next level and I’m ready to continue.’”
DeRulo admits it hurt when he first tried it, but constant practice and his breakdancing background helped him finally nail it. “You build a tolerance,” he said.
The neck injury, he reveals, brought him closer to girlfriend Jordin Sparks, among other things. He explains, “It just brought so many positive things, I wouldn’t change it for the world. It just took me to the next level. It made me more mature, it brought Jordan and I closer, it brought me closer to God, it brought me closer to my family.”
Below, a 90-second teaser of Derulo’s “The Other Side.”
Grammy award winning artist Chris Brown joined creative forces with acclaimed graffiti artist Slick to raise funds for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Best Buddies International March 15, 2013 in Gardena, California
*Chris Brown was a guest on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show today and spoke about several of his recent headline-making activities, including an incident with a parking valet earlier this month.
As previously reported, Brown blew up at the attendant outside of Pinz bowling alley in Studio City, claiming the man overcharged him.
Although the parking fee was $10, Brown explained to Seacrest that he gave the attendant $100 to look after his car and another vehicle when they pulled up together – and the cameras didn’t catch that.
“I can elaborate on the situation,” he said. “By all means, I’m a great tipper. Ten dollars is not a problem… but before we went in, I gave the man $100 dollars. We had two cars. It’s five dollar parking. Ok, do the math.
“When we came out he was like, ‘You know what? We need $20 for each car’. And I said, ‘Sir, I just gave you $100′. So he was like, ‘No, no we need $10′. So he was just going around trying to see if he could get more money and I was like, ‘No!’ By that time it was a situation.”
Brown said from now on, he’ll just ask his bodyguards to pick up his keys from the valet: “I’ve got to just shut up and be like, ‘Security go get the keys! I’ll be by the car’.”
Breezy also spoke about his reunion with Rihanna, insisting he deserves a second chance after beating her in 2009.
“I just tried my best to be the best man I could be over the years and just show her how remorseful and sorry I was for the incident and that that time was probably the worst part of my life,” he said. “Being that she has (forgiven me) and she’s a wonderful person I’m eternally grateful and thankful.”
Brown continued: “It’s still like we’re kids. I try not to be too grown and be like, ‘Let’s have candlelight dinner every night’. I try to make sure everything is fun. It has to be fun and it has to be genuine.”
The singer insists he’s a different man than the one who assaulted Rihanna in a rented Lamborghini: “Being at that young age, I can tell you I was arrogant and definitely hotheaded. Everybody has a temper, but for me it was not knowing how to control it when I thought I had the world in my hands.”